GuideSpark, the leader in employee communication, today announced key executive appointments of industry veterans John Staines, CHRO and SVP People & Culture, Valerie Burman, CFO and SVP Solutions & Strategy, and Charles Lee, SVP and Head of GuideSpark Studios. The recent appointments extend GuideSpark’s executive team to support the company’s ongoing strategy while positioning it for future success.

“Leading organizations recognize the critical role that communication plays in driving employee engagement, program adoption, and company culture,” said Keith Kitani, GuideSpark co-founder and CEO. “The deep expertise that John, Valerie, and Charles bring to GuideSpark will accelerate our ability to help enterprises deliver targeted communications to their increasingly diverse and dispersed workforces.”

“I’m excited to join Valerie, Charles, and the entire GuideSpark team, especially because I’ve experienced firsthand the need for high-impact employee communications,” said John Staines, GuideSpark CHRO. “Enterprises spend billions on strengthening their EVP but this investment is lost without a targeted communication strategy that ties those benefits to the employee experience.”

The executive hires strengthen GuideSpark’s ability to expand its employee communication market leadership and accelerate the adoption of GuideSpark Communicate Cloud.

John is a seasoned HR leader with global executive experience at nationally recognized companies like PepsiCo, Mattel, The Gap, and Cigna. He has also led two start-ups and most recently has focused on helping organizations build an inclusive culture through the development of cultural agility competencies. While at Cigna, John introduced skilled-based volunteering to one of his senior leadership programs. This cutting-edge approach to talent development was recognized as best-in-class by the Boston Globe, Northeastern University, and Catalyst, a nonprofit organization that focuses on building “workplaces that work for women.”

Valerie is an enterprise technology veteran with more than 20 years of software experience and brings a unique combination of strategic leadership and operational excellence to her role. Valerie’s impressive executive and management career spans both public software companies such as SAP and Business Objects and private VC-backed SaaS companies such as Mindjet and Spigit. The breadth of Valerie’s roles includes strategy, product management, corporate development, business development, legal, and finance. During her nearly decade-long investment banking career, Valerie also guided companies through their funding cycles and served as a trusted M&A advisor.

Charles leads a global team of highly talented multimedia experts who script, design, and produce GuideSpark’s end-to-end customer content. Previously, Lee owned and managed successful creative agencies across the United States, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. His clients have included major motion picture studios, television networks, and Fortune 500 companies like Nike, Coca-Cola, and the Ford Motor Company. In 2008, Lee won a PrimeTime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Media Programming on behalf of Disney Channel.

The executives will oversee GuideSpark’s strategic expansion to serve enterprises who demand a comprehensive communication solution that improves employee engagement in key HR programs and company-wide initiatives.

About GuideSpark

GuideSpark is the leader in employee communication, with 600 enterprise customers who use its software and solutions to effectively engage over 22 million employees and achieve HR program adoption goals. GuideSpark is the only company that blends software and content experiences to deliver communication campaigns that inspire, inform and activate employees. The result is measurable employee engagement and greater connection to the employer value proposition. To learn how you can transform your employee communications, visit


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